Wednesday is Pollen Day!

Wednesday is Pollen Day!

Well, technically, every day is “Pollen Day.” However, Wednesdays are my favorite day of the work week – I take a break from staring at the computer while analyzing data and instead do some hands-on data collection.

Join me as I collect pollen samples!

I start off at Schlinger Laboratory, leave at the back entrance, take a shortcut through Beckman, enter through the back door of Keck, and proceed up three flights of stairs.

It is my last flight of stairs.

People might call going up and down three stories on a hot day burdensome. I call it exciting. Who knows what pollen discoveries lie on the top? Each time, I wonder if the machine has collected any new pollen or whether any pollen have reached their peak in their growth season. The suspense is nail-biting!

I have reached the last door on my way up to the roof. I open it and see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Or just more stairs.

I climb my way up as I feel the hot sun on my face and shoulders, and once I reach the top, I glance over at the San Gabriel Mountains and wonder what’s going on at the Mount Wilson Observatory at the very top.

There are numerous other machines and piping systems on the roof, but I turn my attention to the apparatus to my left.

It’s called a Pollen Trap. It contains a wheel inside that turns with a tape that collects the pollen over a set period of time. I open the machine and replace the wheel with the tape inside every week.

I take a final glance at my open laboratory from my observation post on the roof, then head back down the stairs to lab, where I will prepare the pollen samples for analysis.

It has been another good Wednesday for harvesting pollen samples!